Weekly MMA Prospect Report: Bellator and ACA Lead the Pack

Joey Davis, Bellator MMA
Joey Davis Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

We’re back once again with the weekly MMA prospect report, and this week, it’s Bellator and ACA leading the way!

The UFC is headed back down under this weekend for UFC 243, but elsewhere, there’s plenty of other MMA action unfolding. Invicta FC 37, Bellator 229, and ACA 100, to name a few. Let’s take a look at some of the top prospects between them, and other shows!

Eternal MMA 48 | Friday | Australia

Middleweight, Kitt Campbell (10-3)

Kitt Campbell is well-rounded overall. On the feet, he has power in his hands and is quite explosive and quick. He is good in the clinch throwing relentless knees and lethal elbows too. His wrestling is good as well with solid entrances to his takedowns, leading to good follow-throughs. On top, Campbell has good ground-and-pound and is a submission threat. He moves well for a big man. At times, he is stationary but once on the mat, he is fluid with his movement. He fights Isi Fitikefu (5-0).

Middleweight, Isi Fitikefu (5-0)

Fitikefu is a solid wrestler who has an aggressive and relentless pace with effective chain wrestling. He has one submission win on his resume, but he relies more on his ground and pound. On the feet, Fitikefu has big power in his hands and his right hand is a loaded gun that puts guys to sleep. It is hard to tell right now how good Fitikefu is, as he hasn’t fought truly tough competition yet. That’s about to change, as he fights Kitt Campbell (10-3.)

Welterweight, Jack Della (6-2)

After starting off his career losing his first two fights, Jack Della is now on a six-fight win streak. Della is also the defending Eternal MMA welterweight champion. On the feet, he hits hard with both his hands and kicks. He’s very technical as well mixing in kicks and punches into combos. Della is solid as well at attacking the body often and effective using those elbows. He’s probably a better wrestler who has finished both with ground and pound and submissions. Della does need to work on his takedown defense, but thus far his exceptional jiu-jitsu has done well for him. He fights Glen Pettigrew (7-2) who he has already beat.

ACA 100 | Friday | Russia

Featherweight, Askhab Zulaev (6-0)

Askhab Zulaev is another legit up-and-coming Russian prospect. On the feet, he is excellent at distance using a range of kicks, even spinning kicks, often. The Russian is a skilled kickboxer with explosiveness, falling in love with his flying knee. Some other nice qualities he has are solid cardio given the pace he throws and excellent takedown defense. Zulaev has some decent wrestling, but his ground and pound is cutting with the elbows he throws. He fights Tihomir Blagovestov (6-0) who lacks footage.

Featherweight, Salman Zhamaldaev (17-1)

After losing his very first professional bout, Salman Zhamaldaev has gone on to win 17 straight. Salman has beat very good competition proving he is a top 145-pound prospect out of Russia. If the fight isn’t finished in the first two rounds, Salman has no problem going the distance as he’s done it in his last seven bouts. Salman is well-rounded and very dangerous everywhere. On the feet, he is an excellent counter-striker and is very effective at kicking the lower calf of his opponent. On the mat, he holds four submissions but really relies on control. He fights Felipe Froes (18-4-1) who he has already beat.

Brave CF 27 | Friday | Abu Dhabi

Welterweight, Abdoul Abdouraguimov (9-0)

The Russian native had a background in freestyle-wrestling and Brazilian jiu-jitsu before switching over to MMA to boost up his undefeated pro record. Abdouraguimov needs to work on a few things including his footwork, as he tends to get more flat-footed as the fight goes on. In part, that’s because his gas tank wears out quickly. He slows fairly quick because of how aggressive he is early and his grapple-heavy style. His wrestling is decent, but he could use his setups better. However, he does close the distance fairly well and is willing to take risks getting the fight to the mat because he scrambles so well. On the mat, he is solid with grappling, but on the feet, he is unpredictable and just needs to be more technical. He fights Jarrah Hussein Al-Silawi (13-3) who he just beat in a close fight.

Welterweight, Khamzat Chimaev (5-0)

Fighting out of Sweden, Chimaev trains out of a top local gym in Allstars Training Center. Chimaev is a fast finisher with all first-round finishes. He has heavy hands as shown on the feet with one-punch knockout power. He also has some background in wrestling and that’s showed to work quite well in his MMA career as well. There is still a lot unknown about him but he’s beat pretty good competition. He fights Mzwandile Hlongwa (4-0) who looks to be solid but lacks footage.

Bellator 229 | Friday | California

Middleweight, Johnny Eblen (5-0)

Johnny Eblen has a background as a Division I wrestler for the University of Missouri. Eblen trains with American Top Team and is 4-0 as a pro. The wrestler hasn’t shown much on the feet but he does swing hard. Eblen is 100% on his takedown attempts with explosive shots and excellent finishing ability. The work he does on top has been utter dominance. His top control is heavy and he will rain down heavy ground-and-pound. He’s looked great thus far in his career. He fights Mauricio Alonso (13-7).

Welterweight, Joey Davis (5-0)

Davis is an unbeaten D2 wrestler at 133-0. Davis has looked pretty stellar for the most part in his MMA career. He’s used his excellent wrestling and ferocious ground and pound, the latter probably being his best aspect by far. The wrestler though is very athletic and explosive. Davis has finished the fight with both his hands and his kicks. He really looks to be a big deal at only 25-years old. He fights Jeff Peterson (10-6).

Middleweight, Anatoly Tokov (28-3)

Anatoly Tokov is an excellent prospect out of Russia with an impressive record with plenty of experience. Tokov is 21-1 in his last 23 fights as his only loss is to UFC fighter Ramazan Emeev. He does have wins over solid competition including former champion Alexander Shlemenko. With a background in combat sambo, he is a great wrestler and the ground-and-pound he possesses on top is his best aspect. Tokov has heavy hands and is very aggressive with great cardio. Tokov is a major prospect and a possible future Bellator champion. He fights Hracho Darpinyan (17-8-2).